ROTC celebrates outstanding year

Published 7:22 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The 16th annual Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC awards banquet Tuesday, May 11, at the school cafeteria celebrated an outstaying year of achievements and the retirement of program founder and director Col. Gary Breedlove.

Col. Breedlove has led his unit to a Distinguished Unit With Merit Award for a seventh consecutive year.

BHS principal Tommie Howell presented Col. Breedlove with the outstanding Air Force Junior ROTC instructors Award. The award, which he has received numerous times, is given each year by Air Force Junior ROTC headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

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Col. Breedlove also received two very special flags from two of his distinguished former cadets.

West Point graduate Maj. David “Buck” Sarrette, the Bainbridge Kiwanis Club’s 2009 Decatur County Man of the Year who has served two tours of duty in Iraq and is now stationed at Fort Rucker in Alabama, presented him with a flag his unit flew in his honor in Iraq.

U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, medical doctor and Air Force Capt. Preston Laslie, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., presented him with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in Breedlove’s honor.

The awards won by the unit this year were numerous.

At the Sept. 19 Lowndes County High School Drill Meet in Valdosta, they were overall meet champions, first in unarmed inspection, first in unarmed regulation drill, first in color guard and third in armed regulation drill.

At the Nov. 9 Tift County Southeast Regional Drill Meet in Tifton, they were second in armed regulation drill, and unarmed color guard and fourth in unarmed inspection. Darren Good was second in individual drill.

At the Feb. 6-10 Montgomery Nationals in Alabama, the drill team was first in facsimile inspection, first in facsimile color guard, first in demil inspection, third in unarmed inspection and fifth in facsimile regulation drill.

In the May 1 Daytona Beach, Fla., National High School Drill Championships, they were second in color guard and fifth in unarmed inspection.

New Cadet Corps Comdr.. Stephen Dunn received the Air Force Association Award, the highest national honor a cadet can receive.

It goes annually to an outstanding third-year cadet who possesses the highest personal and ethical standards and strong positive convictions.

Cadet Dunn ranks in the top 5 percent of his aerospace science class and the top 10 percent of his academic class.

Cadet Dunn also received the Distinguished Cadet Badge. His eligibility for the high honor included winning leadership achievement honors.

Tyler Pollock received the Freedom Foundation Award given by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Criteria for the award include a positive attitude toward Junior ROTC and school, outstanding personal experience and growth potential with a capacity for responsibility, high productivity and adaptability to change.

The Oak Murdock Award, established in memory of late Cadet Oak Murdock to honor his total commitment to Junior ROTC went to Cadet Tiffy Blocker. It ranks with the Outstanding Cadet Award. The award annually goes to a cadet who is out there representing Junior ROTC throughout the community and beyond. Cadet Blocker received a leadership ribbon, had her name placed on a plaque and her name and the year she received the award placed on a saber.

Outstanding cadets were honored in each of the four classes.

The outstanding first-year cadet was Riley Cutchin, the outstanding second-year cadet was Christopher Campbell, the outstanding third-year cadets were Stephen Dunn and Adam Anderson, and the outstanding fourth-year cadets were Tiffy Blocker and Erick Juarez.

Citizen Soldier Awards, given by the Georgia Army National Guard, were presented to the most improved cadets in each grade level.

The most improved freshman cadet was Mackenzie Tomlinson, the most improved sophomore cadet was Stacey Martin, the most improved junior cadet was Tanisha Warren and the most improved senior cadets were Ryan Schoeneman and Adrienne Akins.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Award, which goes each year to a cadet who is actively engaged in the Junior ROTC program and possesses individual characteristics contributing to effective leadership, was presented to Cadet Charles Screen.

Decatur County School System Director of Bands Paschal Ward presented Col. Breedlove with a lifetime honorary membership in the award-winning Bainbridge High School Band.